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Road Update
March 1, 2005


Here we go again, it's March and we are just getting the end of year newsletter out. And this one is a big one. Look for the following hot items:

  • Dues Statement
  • Gate Combo Change
  • Road Directors Election
  • Road Work
  • Dues Increase

Gate Combinations

The gate combinations will change on Sunday March 6, 2005. The new combinations will be as follows:

Front Gate: ****
Big Iron Gate: **** call for combos

Please make a note.

Front Gate

We have not heard many complaints about the front gate recently, although there were .comments about it being left unlocked during deer season. Additionally we have heard several complaints of poaching at the Front Ranch and it has been suggested that poachers were guests of Wickersham Ranch owners. We have not verified this, but we hope that all Owners are very clear with their guests regarding the ownership of all property over which the road traverses. This is regular reminder about use of the Road. Please share this with all guests and vendors.

  • Always lock the gates, regardless whether it was unlocked when you got there.
  • Make sure the combo is NOT left on the lock or the lock will not lock. Spin the numbers before locking and test the lock to make sure it is locked.
  • Please advise all of your guests regarding the importance of locking the gate.
  • If you wish to leave the gate open for a car that may be following, please wait at the gate while it is open.
  • Please advise your guests regarding Road Etiquette including basic driving methods for rural roads and basic courtesies such as saying Hello and identifying who they are and who they are visiting.
  • Please advise guests not to litter the area around the gates. (I pick up trash there almost every time I enter. This is not road trash but it came from people using the gate.)
  • Please pick up litter and debris that does not belong on the road.
  • Please remove rocks or trees that have fallen onto the road. (If you remove a large tree or perform other substantial work in keeping the road open, please advise the Committee so we can say thanks.)
  • Please advise guests that they are traveling over private property and that they should respect the privilege to do so. It is not appropriate to stop for sightseeing or personal relief on other's property.
  • Please get permission from the owners of the front ranch to park cars inside the front gate.
    Contact: Dean and Kelly Falkenberg (707) 838-8804 dktfalken@aol.com

    For those who do keep the gate locked, the road clean and always have a smile when passing, thanks from the Committee and from the owners at the front ranches.

Dues Due

For those who have not already sent in their annual Maintenance dues, now is the time. This year's dues remain at $300.00 per parcel. Please remit per the enclosed invoice.

I am also enclosing an overall status of Road Dues accounts in order to offer the membership a perspective on how much (little) is actually collected each year and how critical dues are from each parcel. Additionally we have enclosed a spending report for the 2004 fiscal year.

Dues should be sent to: Wickersham Ranch Road Association c/o CSS Architecture 1103 Juanita Avenue Burlingame, CA 94010

Recent Road Work

Recent Work on the road occurred in November and December and represented the first segment of our Long Term Maintenance Strategy. This work represents a current minimum of work for a given section of road for long term maintenance that will reduce annual maintenance on that section over the service life of approximately 10 years. Important components of the recent work included:

  • The manufacturing of rock in a suitable mix to bind and stabilize without excessive compaction and water application (a cost factor)
  • Preparation of adjacent Road surfaces for transport of rock and equipment to he work sire for the purpose of minimizing damage to other parts of the road (as well as to road equipment)
  • Transport and placement of rock
  • Adjustment to shoulders to accommodate changes in grade elevation
  • Removal of berms and stabilization of remaining shoulder surfaces.

    Additional finish work will be required in spring to trim out the surface after winter compaction has occurred. This work will occur at an additional charge.

    The recent work on Snot Hill represented approximately 8% of the length of the Road. Costs were approximately $12,000.

    The cost of this work is reasonable both in comparison to previous road projects and in relation to current construction costs for similar work in this market area.

    Work was performed by: Schmidt Family Garden Service Zack Schmidt 707 321 1874

    Thanks are also in order for the following Owners for their help in realizing the recent work:
  • Art Viramontes
  • Peter Beall
  • Dave Schaeffer

    Dave provided the excavator used in the quarry at cost and Art and Peter subsidized the cost of the excavator.

    Many thanks from the committee as this kind of volunteer effort helps us further meet the maintenance requirements of the road. The value of the Excavator for the period it was used is estimated at $3,000.

Road Maintenance Strategy

The recent Road Work was consistent with our long term strategy for road maintenance. Recall that that strategy includes the following components:

  • Avoid exhausting resources on Regular Maintenance by minimizing yearly surface grading and water cuts.
  • Retain resources where possible for Long Term capital tasks that will provide greater durability and reduced regular maintenance costs in the future.
  • Define projects to offer a service life of approximately 10 years. This means that tasks should be done in such a way that we do not have to do major work on a particular section for 10 years after a capital improvement task is performed.
  • Long Term projects shall focus on short sections of the road so that all required tasks for that section can be completed without requiring additional work within the service life of that section. This means that we should perform long term maintenance on sections that represent approximately 10% of the road length in each year.
  • Additionally we should be retaining Maintenance Resources for larger capital projects as well as emergencies such as landslides or extreme local flood damage.

Road Maintenance Costs / Dues Increase

The recent Road Work cost approximately $12, 000. This represented retained resources from 2003 as well as deficit spending for 2005 (funded by a short term, no interest loan from CSS Architecture.)

The expenses of this project alone exceed the annual resource income of the Road Association which is approximately $10,000. As we have additional sections of road that need this kind of work next year, we will not have adequate resources to perform work of this quality or durability.

Alternately we will have to delay further Long Term work until 2006.

This circumstance also assumes that we will have little or no retention of resources for emergencies and that any emergencies will have to be mitigated through emergency funding and deficit spending.

Additionally we should expect Maintenance requirements to increase with increased regulation of water quality and related environmental impacts over the coming years with the real possibility that we may be required to perform substantial improvements to the overall road system on a one-time basis. This could represent a capital expense of up to $250,000 based on my estimates. (Obviously such an occurrence would cause us to seek supplemental funding via grants.)

Meanwhile, out Annual Road Dues remain comparatively low not only for the length of road we maintain (approximately 14 miles) but also in comparison to the surrounding ranches. Currently annual dues represent a cost to each parcel of $21.43 per mile of road. Even for the first owners who use only the Front Ranch road, this represents less than $55.00 per mile.

Since these small amounts are not currently covering the real costs of maintaining the road even at the minimum levels we experience, we are recommending an increase in annual Road Dues to $500 per year.

Based on this recommendation, and by consensus of the Road Committee constituting the three signatory requirement for placement of a measure before the membership, we offer the following for inclusion in the 2005 Ballot:

Item 1 Should the Annual Road Dues be increased from $300.00 to $500.00 for the purpose of providing required Regular and Long Term Maintenance for the Road System?

Item 2 Should the Annual Dues Increase, if passed by a majority of voting parcels, be placed in effect retroactively to include the 2005 Fiscal year?

These items will be placed on the Road Directors Election ballot to be circulated in March 2005.

Road Committee Elections 2005 / 2006 Committee Elections

As all are aware, Road Committee Membership occurs in two-year terms. The term of the current Committee has lapsed and we are behind in holding elections. The current Committee has continued to serve until elections are complete. The following Owners have expressed interest in serving on the Committee so far:

  • Martin Dreiling, Parcel 8, 9 (current member)
  • Dave Schaefer, Parcel 5 (current member)
  • Gary Martinez, Parcel 6 (current member)

If you would like to nominate anyone else for the Road Committee (including yourself) please send a note (or call) to Carol at:
CSS Architecture 1103 Juanita Avenue Burlingame CA 94010 650 696 1200

If you are nominating someone, please provide your name and Parcel Number as well as the Name and Parcel Number of the person you are nominating.


Ranch Mailbox wranch@cssanf.com

Ranch Website "http://www.wickershamranch.com"

Thanks to Tami Bobb for her efforts in sharing space on her personal ranch site for our benefit.